According to the press release:
With the launch of its new fall campaign, JACOB has committed to no longer digitally alter the bodies of its models in images for both its JACOB and JACOB Lingerie brands....
“As a socially responsible company, JACOB has always made an effort to promote a healthy image of the female body. By adopting an official policy and broadcasting it publicly, we hope to reverse the trend in digital photo manipulation that has become excessive in our industry,” says spokesperson and Communications Director Cristelle Basmaji. “Our decision to never reshape the bodies of our models is particularly innovative for our JACOB Lingerie campaigns.”
The basis of the new “no retouching” policy is to promote an honest and realistic image of the female body. However, JACOB is not against all forms of touch-ups. Certain digital enhancements cannot be avoided in order to produce an image the size that is required for advertising. In all transparency, JACOB will continue to retouch its photos in some regards, as there will always be a need to calibrate colours for better product representation and to even out skin tone or erase tattoos and scars.
Here is an example
I will concede that the first two images are more realistic than the third. That being said, I would definitely like to draw attention to the fact that we have a young, thin, white model who conforms to all of the dominant beauty norms wearing underwear and high heels to sell clothing. With only one example available at the moment, it is hard to say whether they will promote a "healthy image of the female body" but I am of the opinion that this image isn't it.
This ad campaign is not particularly different from mainstream ads, but I do like that it shows the image as it would be retouched, which hopefully will expose some of the ways that photoshop works in advertising to people who would not otherwise see these before and after images.
So, is this campaign better than most of the images out there? Yes, it is. It shows how retouching works to raise the standards of beauty to something that is absolutely unattainable to women in real life, which is a good thing. It definitely goes further than most campaigns. But unless the other images that are yet to be released feature models whose appearance varies a bit more from dominant beauty standards, this is not going to be enough to change how women see themselves in any significant way. But it does get them in the news, and get bloggers (such as myself) talking about them, so I'm sure this campaign will at very least help them sell more clothing.